Minute Meditations

You Are a Son of Heaven

man looking into a valley

Francis undoubtedly carried a bit of guilt about his dramatic and showy rejection of his father in the city square many years before. He undoubtedly recognized there was still a lot of ego in what he had done: publicly shamed his human father in his youthful search for the heavenly father. A mature saint would not have done that. He now knew better, but he could not repair the utterly broken relationship.

That continual rejection from his father hurt so much that Francis would invite a beggar from the streets to accompany him, walk by his side, and protect his soul. He instructed him, “When my father hurls curses and abuse at me, I will hear them painfully in one ear, but I ask you to walk on my other side and whisper God’s favor into my other ear: ‘Francis, you are my beloved son. You are a son of heaven and a son of God.’ Just keep repeating it until I can believe it again!” That alone could save him from the sour and sad heart that a father’s rejection forever bestows on a son.

—from the book From Wild Man to Wise Man: Reflections on Male Spirituality
by Richard Rohr

Richard Rohr's From Wild Man to Wise Man

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